As we drove away from Aussie, Walnut, and Mr. Aussie that Saturday I thought would be our last meeting on Country B soil for quite awhile, I cried.

‘I should have hugged her longer. Hugged her again.’

TMD patted my knee when she could, as I found old napkins in the glove box to wipe my eyes on. I cried the whole way home. The whole thing was awful, really. As Coconut and Snort were strapped into their carseats, she held Walnut. He leaned over and pressed his hands to the windows. ‘Bye! Bye! Bye!’ My kids kept waving and blowing kisses and saying bye.

To the kids, it was a normal goodbye.

To the adults, we knew it was a long goodbye. A goodbye that would have to stretch across continents, across the world. A goodbye that held their past years of friendship, and hopefully their future as well.

You’ll have to excuse me. It’s hard to type while my eyes are full of tears. The reminders are everywhere. Written large on our calender are the day they left, the day they arrive in her home country. Snort asks every single day, about twenty times a day, to watch a video of him, Snort, and Walnut having a tea party. Coconut asks for ‘booboo,’ Walnut’s word for breastfeeding.


That Tuesday after we left them, that Tuesday before the Thursday they would leave our country, I sent her a text. I wish we had arranged to meet up again before you left. The next thing you know, I am throwing bags and children into the car and driving ninety minutes. And what a good day! Nothing out of the ordinary, and that’s why it was so good.

Aussie is (was?) my only friend in this country that I talked to every day – even if just by texts complaining about life. She feels like home to me, in a pajama-wearing, honest-talking, call-her-crying-or-laughing kind of way. So to have another ordinary day with our kids chasing each other, having tea parties, flying imaginary planes, eating cake? Priceless. Totally worth the sat nav routing me home through Big City on the way home.

It’s hard on a lot of levels for me. But one major one is the feeling that I’m being left behind. She’s going back to her family, to the place she grew up, to the land where she’s wanted to return for years. She’s been in Country B for nine years. I’ve been here for about eleven or twelve. The difference is, I’m not going back home. I don’t even know if I would want to.

But I long for my parents, my sister. For Cookie. For David. For big trees, freaky birds, that awesome ice cream shop in that little village.For the memories I know we could make if we lived there.

Aussie wondered if visiting us at my parents’ house, some sort of giant reunion of globetrotters with no money to actually trot the globe, would be closer than seeing us in Country B. So I looked on her tiny globe and discovered, much to my amusement and horror, that it was just about exactly halfway across the world.


The world may be getting more globalized, more centralised, more easy to communicate with far flung people. But to me, on this morning, it still feels pretty damn big.


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One Response to “Goodbye.”

  1. Natasha Says:


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